EXERCISE/PROBLEM SOLVING VERSUS THEORETICAL TEACHING IN THE UNIVERSITY

C. Cameselle, S. Gouveia

Universidade de Vigo (SPAIN)
Some students show some difficulty in learning from mainly theoretical classes. That limitation can be solved in different ways, In this work the authors proposed the reduction of the theoretical classes to a minimum and an increase of the exercises and problems to be solved in the classroom. The exercises can be solved by the professor and/or by the students with a close guidance of the professor. In this model, the theoretical classes can be taught in the beginning of the week. The theoretical classes focus on the main concepts: principles, theorems,... More specific information is reserved for the exercise classes. During the rest of the week, the classes focus only in exercises or problems. They are used to fix and clarify the main theoretical concepts taught in the first class in the beginning of the week. As it is expected, more specific concepts and information will appeared in the resolution of the exercises and problems. In this moment, the professor may introduce the additional information that was not presented to the students in the theoretical class. With this model, the students learn faster and the application of the concepts to real problem solving is assured. Furthermore, the professor may propose exercises to be solved for the students in small groups favoring collaborative work.